tv To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe PBS September 8, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm PDT
first, women dominate the democratic convention. but will they go to the polls for barak obama? then, republicans who support marriage equality. >> hello i'm bonnie erbe. welcome to the contrary. a discussion of news and social friends from by verse ber speculatives. up first, the important choice ahead for women voters. [♪] barack obama and the democrats believe women will be the deciding factor in the presidential election. so they are working hard to drive them to the polls. >> and if you share that faith with me, if you share that hope
with me, i ask you tonight for your vote. >> at their convention, democrats put women front, center and really everywhere. there were tributes to women senators and women house members. one woman after another took to the stage to make the case for reelecting president obama. >> we are far better off with barack obama than we were with george w. bush. that is why the republicans said gotcha. are you better off? absolutely. >> when you look at our convention, you see america represented. you see the diversity. you see the role of women all of us members of congress, women members on that stage, sent a big message across this nation that the democratic party embraces women. that they are willing and have always legislated on our behalf. >> i think that the ditc ditch differences are deep and strong
and they are oceans apart. president obama gave us the healthcare bill that treats us like equals. no longer are we charged more. no longer are we treated like a preexisting condition. >> men and mothers and sisters and wives and daughters when you look at more women out there voting, i think it is a message to say that in 2012 it's about men and women not excluding anyone. it's just sending a message that more women are coming to congress, women can make a difference and we are excited about it. >> debbie wasserman-schultz chair of the democratic party insisted the party is not only for women but all about women. . >> with so many women speakers and women comprising 50% of the delegates, the women's caucus held two sessions to fire up the
party faithful. >> i think that we have to do is make sure that women understand that the republicans find ways toward policies that are bad for women, bad our health, bad our our job security and damaging to our children. >> i believe that is what is critical is that women know who they are voting for this november and they know that person's record on women's health, on our economic equality, violence against women. i want to make sure that the women of this country and the men who care about them are making an informed choice. >> reporter: even the hispanic caucus looks like a women's caucus. >> yes, we can. >> first lady, michelle obama, made a surprise appearance, calling on this important demographic to get out the vote. >> all on the line. >> away from the convention floor, dozens of events focused on women.despite a counter demon on the streets of charlotte,
planned parenthood rallied women and men for the cause. >> i think nonef us ever imagined in this presidential election literally planned parenthood would be on the ballot when you have a candidate, president obama has been a supporter of women's health and a strong supporter of planned parenthood and mitt romney pledged to get rid of planned parenthood. for women what happened? president obama and the democratic party have a table of inclusiveness. everyone has a right to be seated at the table. in this instance planned parenthood has been a frontline first responder for young women, for poor women and access to healthcare. >> many of the women at the convention say they believe if more women were elected, women's health would not be an issue. hunt, head of political parity told me that will require a critical mass of women in elected office. >> we are going to have double and then double again in order
to get parity. p then we will have a different country and we will have a different world. >> emily's list tells a town hall and reception to encourage women to run and vote. >> women's voices matter. their votes matter. as we can change the outcomes of the elections if women vote. president obama's election is perhaps the most important in my lifetime. the next president of the united states will nominate supreme court justices. and we need to make sure we keep the senate there are senate seats up. the senate has drawn the line in the sand on issue after issue. >> with less than two months left, the objective is turning out voters. >> i think people are sick of politics and struggle with even getting people out to vote. so i think when people like me and m other felw delegates go home, they will have stories to share and people will vote. >> women voters in this country have to say when the question is asked, are we better off than we were four years ago?
yes. >> he has done so many things and do we have more things to do, absolutely. but i believe that there is a clear choice in november and that choice is to reelect barack obama. >> congresswoman norton you were there which party do you think is doing the best job of winning the women's vote? >> bonnie you cannot raposo dies women at conventions and forget attacks on their reproductive health likhealth and contraceptd abortion. >> at the end of our convention that number was down to 6%. he cannot win at 6%. that is why they focused so much on women. they had to. >> i think hands down there is no question the democrats focused more on women. they had been focusing more on women you have to look at the speakers, the gender and the content. >> women looking to hear about
jobs and the economy, their children, education, would be woed by the republican national convention. >> why do you say that? the convention was more about jobs and the economy? >> there was more of an opportunity to really hear about all the other issues. i think at the democratic convention there was such a loud echo of this war on women against the republican party and i talked toeople common women around the country, you know they are tired of all of the hammer hammer hammer piece and some of that negativity drowned out some of the good messages. >> if it is a theme it is not a theme that the democrats started or wanted. it began with sandra fluke i was on the committee they refused to let her testify. and all male panel. woe did not throw down the gauntlet on contraception and put into our plan the amendment that would bar even certain kinds of contraception. those issues were put on the
table by republicans. they had a vote in the senate that would have said any employer who an employer no matter how large it could be a corporate head who objected to abortion could keep women who, by the way, pay for pay for their healthcare could keep this woman from getting contraception in her healthcare. democrats did not put that amendment on the senate floor. if there is a war on women we did not start it. >> if you look at what the women will be voting on in november. it's clear every poll showed it what angela referred to, worried about the jobs and the wreckless spending of this administration and terrified about the $16 trillion debt that this president has given us many and they are worked about obama-care undermining and destroying the quality of care in this country. these are the issues they will
worry about. they know well that contraception is something that will be available to them and always been available t them since the 50s and republicans never tried to take it away. they may not want the taxpayer to pay for that. but that is all the discussion is about. it's clear what is happening women want a brighter future. and obama failed them. he offered hope and he did not give it to them. they are out of jobs. 4400,000 more women out of jobs today than when obama started. that is what they care about their brighter future for themselves and their family and children and that is a machine of the republican convention. >> debra what about the latest unemployment rate that came out eight.1%? how is that going to -- 8.1%? how is that going to help or hurt the president. >> i don't think it's bad i don't think it's great. i think we were projecting wanting 8.4% so it's lower but
it's better than what it has been and it's showing we are moving in the right direction. and jobs and women, there have been many, many private sector jobs created in the last two to three years. more than government jobs as we've done government cuts and put people out of jobs. but also, let's get back to economics. we have the lilly bed doom better act where we have not seen from mitt romney that he would support that. he remained silent about that. and i think that sends a strong message to women that here is a man who wants to be the president of the united states but won't make a comment on one of the single most important pieces of legislation affecting women and their economic health in this country. >> you know we heard is what the problem is with the democrats. bark obama has said that this unemployment rate is a new normal that we have to expect it. and what we just heard now was that this 8.1 is good. the reason it's 8.1 and down from 8.3 to 8.1 is because
380,000 people walked out of they are not looking anymore. for every person that found a job this last month, four left the job market. this is unacceptable. >> but, bay, it seems to me coming out of the democratic convention there was one issue that was talked abouthat the democrats had refrained and the president had refrained from talking about on the campaign trail before, which was how the country got to the fiscal situation that it's in right now. why did they make the decision and how will this affect women voters that finally you have the president and the surrogates saying, look, we walked into a mess. and this is the best we've been able to do trying to clean it up. >> people are not brain dead they have seen that not only the president walk into that mess they have seen especially in the house, the most obstructionist congress in history. the president had a jobs bill
that we have created two million jobs by this time. where does it sit? the house of representatives where it cannot pass. people understand that not only did we find a mess that was the deepest mess since the great depression and roosevelt did not get out of that mess in four years, but we had something he did not have. which was a house and a senate that said no matter what it does to the country, our job is to make barack obama a one-term president. >> now, i want to ask you a question. if history repeats itself this election, mitt romney will do what president bush did twice which is win the married, white women's vote. and the democrats will win women overall, because of there are a lot more single white women older white women and women of color if you put them altogether than they are married white women.
why is that and is there anything come out of either of the conventions that will change that pattern? >> you no, bonnie that is exactly what i was talking b there is no question that the base of the democratic party is single women. it's part of the natural constituency. and traditionally -- >> why is that? >> because first of all a lot of single moms out there and those who are dependent on government, they are taking either food stamps or they are in need of some kind of aid from the government medicare or older medicaid if they are are poor. so all of those things are reasons why they have traditionally voted with the democratic party and business women, small business women and married women -- >> who are the richest wealthiest. >> and sure, and it's known that those people who are more in a lower income whether the men or women vote democratic and this is your general background.
but the key for this particular election is exactly what i said before. 13% is how barack oma won ars ago. 13% four years he won women. and in an abc poll has him winning by 6% that means we win big. is that going to change up and down? sure it is. but the key is more and more women are looking at this and saying listen i want my kids having opportunities i want jobs when they graduate from college i work to get them there. i was a single mom and the thing i worried about the most is make certain that i kept a job some job so i could take care of my kids and that is what they are losing. more women are losing jobs under this administration. and to suggest that we inherit to do, yes, we all agree that it was a mess when barack obama. but we had hope. he doesn't seem to have answers. he failed for the first three-and-a-half years and he has no answers for the future. >> let me ask you debra what can or should democrats and barack
obama be doing to try or is there anything they can do to try to win the white married women's vote? and why aren't they going after it more? >> well, i think that they can, number one. number two, i would like to address there has not been a poll on women support of president obama since our convention ended last night. i was reading the same polls. there has not been one done. we'll see what happens to the numbers after our convention. >> but why is it that democrats -- i really want good information on this. why is it that democrats don't get the white women's vote? haven't since you know, bush since ronald reagan, really. and why aren't they going after that vote more? >> i think in politics you go after the vote in your base and what you are the most sure of especially in tight elections like this will be and what the polarization of our country. you work more on who you think
you can get, number one. i am a white married woman and a staunch democrat so i don't understand that breakdown. the only thing that i could think about that is that maybe traditionally, white married women have not worked outside the home as much as other women have had to. so they have not had to address some of the issues that single women do. >> all right. all we have time for on this topic. let us know what you think. follow me on twitter@bonnie erbe. behind the headlines with both party conventions over we introduce you to interesting people we met at the g.o.p. convention. but who were given very little attention by the mainstream media. young conservatives for the freedom to marry. they are young republicans who want the party to know fiscal responsibility and marriage equality are not mutually exclusive. >> there's no doubt that when you walk into a voting booth, as
a gay republican, you are faced with an extraordinarily difficult decision. but you know i am not just one thing i'm not just gay i want to leave a country to my child that is financially sound. i want to have the triple a credit rating i want our country to be in shape not have $16 trillion worth of debt. i am those things, too. and they all inform my decision when i go into the ballot box. >> i am a conservative because i believe in individual freedom and believe that our government and society is built by individuals going bottom up and the role of the government is to create an even playing field and that is not the same for gay and lesbian americans because they do not have the same freedom. for me it's about correcting a philosophical inconsistentsy and the promise for what it means tore conservative. >> the leaders argue the party needs to be more flexible on
marriage equality to appeal to younger votersism the party is changing and younger people we are young conservatives for the freedom to marry self identified conservatives under the age of 44 overwhelmingly agree with the freedom to marry. they believe it's something that should happen for people. so the demographics within the republican party are shifting. >> i think the country is changing on this social issue than any other social issue. and what you see here in terms of our group is a manifestation of that change within the context of the republican party and the conseative movement. and i don't think just because rick santorum and i disagree about the issue means that either of us is less conservativement it is an opening to begin to have a conversation about where the party is going to go and what the principles of the party will mean especially with respect to gays and lesbians. >> and the issue is personal. she became engaged to her partner and wants to celebrate
beyond just her wedding day. >> if you are gay it's personal because you plan on getting married. but there is something about going through the process of choosing the person that you want to be with and having those moments where you know you are figuring out things like your taxes or what you will do about your kids and how you are going to do the practical things and you realize how important the legal recognition of marriage is to people's lives. >> but the republican platform includes a stance against same sex unions. something the young conservatives for freedom to marry hope so see changed in the near future. >> barack obama only evolved three months ago. there is going to be lag time for the republicans. but i think they will evolve as well. >> a couple people said to me how can you be republican look at yourself in the mirror? i think woe want to return to the social issues and have people who have different views on very complex social issues
and i don't mean gay rights, i also mean on the issues of pro-life and pro-choice which i think are terms that do not properly characterize the nuances of that social issue we need to get back to a time where we can be a party on those social issues. >> what do you think, bay? you are part of the base of the party, the religious right, conservatives, fiscal conservative. do you want republicans in the party who are for marriage equality? >> oh, sure. listen and they always have been and there are fiscal conservatives and social conservatives there's many that are both. and that is the way it is. and always has been. i have many -- >> if that is the case why is it -- is the plank in the platform against gay marriage? >> because the majority in our party the overwhelming majority of the rank-and-file are the social conservatives and they come in and work that platform
and make certain that it represents the values they believe dearly. that is what is there. and i give them enormous credit because that is what our party is about. is representing what the party as a whole really believes. and these individuals i give them more credit. i have worked with pro-choice republicans conservatives for years and they have tried to be a little bit more accepting or in the platform itself to be more pro-choice and they have not been successful but it does not mean they are not good republicans for many reasons we work closely together. no, bonnie there is a misconception that the party doesn't have many, many types of people with differing views on social issuesp fiscal issues. >> but they certainly are submerged. this party has been taken over by forces of reaction. reaction against the great transformation that the society is undergoing. they are against this panic.
they are against this the they are against the -- they are against the lgbt. they are -- it's their young people who are pushing to make the party more progressive. when the party has become more reactionary than in anytime in memory and the forces are going to collide and if they cannot find a way to absorb these ople and these people it ses to me ought to be welcomed, because they look like they are the extreme diversity in a party that is becoming a white, male party, a party that as one analyst called it has been southernized and the values of the old south have now been embraced by a party that was much broader. >> eleanor nothing but rhetoric. go ahead. >> i was the coalition's director at the republican national committee and i think the relationship of the
diversity in the party is seen in the video we watched. you don't hear a combat i have tone. you do here that people have joined the party understanding what the platform is. and they are comfortable with a lot of the other platform issues there that keep them in the party. and that they weren't to be talking. and they want to be in dialogue and i'm excited that it's not combative but there is a diversity there where people are wanting to dialogue and have conversation. >> and to be a party the democrats they actuall bod down god. you know that they took him and purged him out of the platform and you say this reaches out to women? i suspect there are more women comfortable having got in a platform. >> we are talking about the issue on the same-sex marriage. and looking through the public republican party and the democratic party, the democratic party is way far ahead of the republican party on this one. within your own party you are
having dialogue including senator mccain's daughter meghan mccain and here you have herbert hoover's great granddaughter speaking of this and i think the republican party will be forced to put this somewhere in their platform as these younger people are getting older and they become the party leaders. i think this is a generational thing. i see it with my sons. what was not accepted 50 years ago, to them, they look at this and go why wouldn't you be able to marry? this makes no sense. i don't bat at and an eye if my friend is gay. i think the republican party will be forced to change and i agree with the young leaders. >> we have to talk again after credits. that is it for this edition of to the contrary. follow me on twitter@bonnie erbe and to the contrary and check out our website web web where the discussion continues and whether you are agree or think to the contrary, please join us